You’ve heard that before, but never before has it been so real to me. On the first day of school in 2010 I decided to change my life in a very dramatic way.
I was raised with food being the center of all. I think I realized it when I was first married. I was at work and having a bad day, my dad happened to come in to say “hi.” He and my mom were on their way to their Friday night dinner date, that week being across the street from my work. After they had eaten, they returned with food for me, “to help me with my bad day!” Food had nothing to do with my frustrations of the day, but it had everything to do with healing my frustrations.
On stressful days, I put the kids down to bed and I bust out the ice cream. On good days, I put the kids to bed and bust out the ice cream! When I am bored, I bake something. When I am feeling creative, I bake something! TO reach out and tell someone I love them, or was thinking of them, I make food for them! My greatest accomplishment of the day: the magical, creation of dinner.
Some people sew for a hobby, I can sew, but it’s not my greatest passion. Some people run, I don’t! Some people are crafty, I can do crafty things but once again, it’s not something I thrive for. I consider FOOD as my hobby. I shop for good deals, I create meals from scratch, and I bake amazing things and conjure up delicious flavors for dinner – just for the sake of tasting. I love food storage and creating from the shelf! Food is my hobby and my all!
When I am feeling anything, food is the comfort and the celebration of all things: I am what I eat. I took my husband to Chicago, where I had lived for a couple of years; he wanted to see the sights of Chicago. Me? I wanted to eat and show him the foods of Chicago! It’s what my memories were based on. When we go places, it’s about the food! We go to the state fair and I top off the occasion with some certain “fair food” as a token memento. My husband says he wants to do something “different” or “special” for an occasion, to me that means RESTARAUNT! It’s all about the food.
It all changed in a way I never expected on the first day of school 2010. I decided that with my daily intake of sugar-based foods being near 2000 calories, I was addicted to sugar. I have no problem finishing a pan of brownies, cinnamon rolls, or a cake in only a few hours. I walk into the kitchen for lunch, and can’t decide what to eat so I “just have a brownie while I decide.” I can’t think of anything to eat for lunch, so I return in a half hour, perhaps then I something will sound good. I return in 30 minutes and while I think of something to make for lunch, I eat yet another brownie . . .or two. And then as the hours go on, I have eaten all of the brownies and have not decided what to eat for lunch, so I force myself to eat something “healthier” raising my calorie intake up and up for the reason of “balancing all of that sugar!”
SO, I recognized my addiction and I set out to overcome it. I thought it was simple, “just don’t eat sugar,” right? But I realized that by giving up sugar I have created an empty chasm in my life. I gave up my ONLY hobby: food.
With this void to fill, I find myself frustrated daily, bored daily, and struggling to fill the void with something of worth.
It may sound ridiculous to you, but to me, it is a true problem. I am as much of a recovering addict as anyone was an alcoholic or anorexic. This is my journey, this is my story.